Photography and Article by Syd Innovaria
Sarah and Mina.
On the evening of August 5th, my friend Doug Sauter (who plays guitar in Sarah Grain and the Billions of Stars), informed me SG&BOS would be making an appearance at the Indy Folk Fest at Indy Hostel in Indianapolis. I had never been to this place before, so I was really excited to check out a new music venue and hear Sarah Grain again. I heard them first at the Vogue Theatre back in July, which I wrote a previous article in the magazine about.
Sarah Grain can basically be described as a 5-piece group that mixes folk sounds with jazz, and a piping transcendental voice from Sarah herself. Undeniably of all the things in the group, her voice takes the cake here. Everyone is very talented, but if you watch the whole show, you notice how her voice has such an amazing range and she uses it to her advantage every time. Sarah plays guitar and sings, Doug plays guitar, Mina is on backup vocals, keys and accordion, Nate on bass and Ryan on drums.
We arrived a little early and they started setting everything up while I went around and checked out the scene. There had been several other bands playing earlier that day, and the place featured a main stage and a side stage with several different types of acts. I didn’t get to listen to really any of them as I was busy getting ready for Sarah Grain, but the crowd was great and the people were so friendly. It was a wonderful vibe.
One of the main things I loved about the experience was how much SG&BOS seemed truly into what they were doing. Sarah, especially, has a beautiful stage presence and an amazing charisma when connecting with the crowd which she did frequently by taking time out to name her band members, introduce what the band was about, and promote their new record Something Wild which was about to be released publicly- stay tuned for an article on their album release party!
Sarah belting it out while Mina handles the keys.
Sarah had this to say about the experience:
“I felt so honored to be a part of the line-up of such a stellar collection of artists at the Indy Folk Fest. I saw performances by Jeff Kelly, Noble Roots, Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery, Bigfoot Yancey, Sweet Poison Victim and more, and was amazed at every turn by the quality of original music coming out of Indianapolis. It made me proud to be here, contributing to the cultural web of this City and adding to the movement. Every single nook and cranny of the Indy Hostel was packed to the brim with kind, enthusiastic listeners, not to mention all of the kids running around, festival style! And when we played, I was also humbled to see so many of my fellow musicians listening to our set; I truly felt part of a supportive community, bit by bit nudging along each other and encouraging growth and inspiration in each others’ art.”
As she said, a beautiful turnout at the Folk Fest during their set.